TUESDAY, June 12, 2018 (HealthDay News) — For adult survivors of childhood cancer, vigorous exercise in early adulthood is associated with reduced risk of mortality, according to a study published online June 3 in JAMA Oncology.

Jessica M. Scott, Ph.D., from the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, and colleagues conducted a multicenter cohort analysis among 15,450 adult cancer survivors diagnosed before age 21 years from pediatric tertiary hospitals. The correlation between vigorous exercise in metabolic equivalent task (MET)-hours per week and change in exercise and mortality was assessed.

The researchers identified 1,063 deaths during a median follow-up of 9.6 years. At 15 years, the cumulative incidence of all-cause mortality was 11.7, 8.6, 7.4, and 8 percent for those who exercised zero, three to six, nine to 12, and 15 to 21 MET-hours/week, respectively. After adjustment for chronic health conditions and treatment exposures, a significant inverse association was seen across quartiles of exercise and all-cause mortality (P = 0.02 for trend). Compared with maintenance of low exercise, increased exercise over an eight-year period was correlated with a reduction in all-cause mortality rate among a subset of 5,689 survivors (rate ratio, 0.6; P = 0.001).

“Vigorous exercise in early adulthood and increased exercise over eight years was associated with lower risk of mortality in adult survivors of childhood cancer,” the authors write.

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